Mason City and Northeast claim Game 1 wins on Thursday
West Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: Willmar 4 @ Mason City 6 (Mason City leads series, 1-0) – The Toros got two goals and two assists from forward Blake Ulve in a 6-4 win in Game 1. After Luke Stevens scored early for the Toros, the WarHawks gained control later in the 1st period with three goals from Mikhail Kukareka, Brady O’Brien, and Collin Kerchoff to make it 3-1 after one period. The Toros stormed back in the 2nd period scoring three straight goals to take a 4-3 lead as Ulve netted his first and Sota Isogai and Jordan Newpower also scored. In the 3rd period, Ulve added his second of the game just :23 seconds into the final frame to make it 5-3. Wilmar pulled to within 5-4 as Elbridge Dekraai scored, but a goal later in the period from Derek Humphreys secured the 6-4 win. Owen Carlson made 25 saves in the win, while Cooper Olson made 22 saves in the loss.
East Division Semi-Finals, Game 1: Northeast 8 @ Bay State 3 (Northeast leads series, 1-0) – The Generals jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back as they handled the Bobcats in Game 1, 8-3. Eight different players scored for the Generals, which included four 1st period goals from Cody Lambert, Caiden Hess, Sean Gorman, and Nolan Zotter. Michael Locke addd a goal in the 2nd period and then Nathan Gilleshammer, Tyler Ramm, and Matthew Nuzzolilo completed the scoring in the 3rd period. Brian Woak scored twice for Bay State and Nate Mastrony also added a goal for the Bobcats. Mason Joseph made 27 saves in the win, while Bed Di Fiore made 67 saves in the loss.